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Jerusalem – PNN – Top Palestinian negotiator Dr. Saeb Erakat issued a statement calling the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Tourism Committee Summit an Israeli attempt to get a recognition of its control over Jerusalem.
“By hosting the OECD conference in Jerusalem, Israel seeks de facto recognition of its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem,” Erakat said.
Erakat thanked the countries that have decided to withdraw their attendance to the OECD Tourism Committee Summit to be held in Jerusalem, October 20 – 22.
“Israeli control over Jerusalem is illegal and the Security Council has been clear on calling all member states not to recognize Israeli claims over the Holy City," he continued. "By hosting the OECD conference in Jerusalem, Israel seeks de facto recognition of its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, and by not attending, countries have sent Israel a clear message that it is not a state above the law.”
Stas Misezhnikov, the Israeli Minister of Tourism, stated Israel’s desire to use the OECD conference to solidify its illegal actions when he characterized the holding of the conference as “declaration of intent and a seal of approval on the fact that we have a state whose recognized capital is Jerusalem.”
“The OECD is a widely respected organization," he said. "Its member states are considered role models for the international community. Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territory, included East Jerusalem, completely contradict the values of the organization. Holding this conference in Jerusalem creates the perception that the OECD is complicit with Israel’s provocative and unlawful actions in this occupied city.”
Dr. Erakat called on those states that have indicated that they will participate in the conference, despite Israeli polices and statements, “to cancel their participation and to publicly repudiate illegal Israeli actions, including the unilateral annexation of occupied East Jerusalem”.
The Chief Palestinian Negotiator praised the “vital role that Palestinian and international civil society groups have played in garnering attention on the issues surrounding this conference. Thousands of people, including international lawyers, students, solidarity movements, alternative tourism and Christian groups, have called on the OECD not to recognize illegal unilateral Israeli actions by holding this conference in Jerusalem.”
Palestine News Network